WEST PERTH, AUSTRALIA — The CBH Group continues to invest in its the network strategy this year with more than A$150 million budgeted for projects that will add over 800,000 tonnes of new storage and associated inloading and outloading equipment for the network.

With more than 650,000 tonnes of new storage constructed from 14 projects last year, planning is well under way to start construction on nine new projects this year with work anticipated to commence in coming months.

Some of the storage projects include 236,000 tonnes of additional storage at the McLevie receival site, 122,000 tonnes at Dowerin, 152,000 tonnes at Cranbrook, 96,000 tonnes at Wickepin and 84,000 tonnes at Lake Grace.

A number of other projects are being evaluated for new permanent storage as part of the annual planning cycle.

Wally Newman, chairman of the CBH Group, said the work to be implemented on the network this year continued to build on the accelerated pace of delivery undertaken in past financial year. 

In addition, CBH has scheduled the implementation of a number of enhancement projects this financial year, resulting in receival sites being able to receive grain faster.

“Our growers are operating in an increasingly competitive global environment and with this in mind, we’re preparing the network so it’s not just the best in Australia but rivals the best in the world — and our growers are the sole beneficiaries of this supply chain,” Newman said. “By continuing to invest significantly into the network, CBH can keep its network fees competitive, increase throughput capacity and efficiency, and meet export demand at the right time to capture value for our growers’ grain.”

Continuing a trend of recent years and supporting CBH’s ongoing investment in current network planning, more than 96% of the total crop is received at the 100 Network Strategy sites.

Ben Macnamara, general manager of operations, said investment into the network continued to evolve to meet growers’ requirements and on farm harvesting and logistics capacity.

“CBH has adopted the Plan-Build-Operate model, which ensures the significant ongoing investment into the network is well thought out and delivered on-time and effectively for the benefit of growers,” Macnamara said. “This model utilizes a rolling three-year planning cycle to drive the effective deployment of capital and shape the network of the future. Our plan is refreshed every year after extensive analysis and consultation, and this helps us to inform decisions on inloading and outloading grain and storage options at each of the core sites.”

CBH recently completed 80,000 tonnes of new storage at its Chadwick receival site near Esperance after the completion of the more than A$16 million network investment.

The upgrade includes four closed circular cells, each with capacity to hold 20,000 tonnes of grain, which takes total capacity at Chadwick to 655,000 tonnes for the 2019-20 harvest. This makes it one of the co-operative’s largest receival sites, the company said.